A challenge is being mounted to the planning permission granted for the erection of a Vodafone mobile phone mast at Tinvane, Carrick-on-Suir.
The permission Carrick-on-Suir Town Council approved in September for the erection of the 24m high telecommunications structure at a site to the rear of Tinvane Business Park is being appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
The appeal will delay the installation of the mast by at least four months and if An Bord Pleanala overturns the Town Council’s decision, Vodafone will have to go back to the drawing board with its plans.
The appeal was lodged by Brita Waters with an address at 41 TJ Murphy Place, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford on October 19. She was the only person to make a submission on the proposed mast to Carrick-on-Suir Town Council at the planning application stage.
Vodafone Ireland has also lodged an appeal, which is expected to counter any objections raised by Ms Waters.
According to An Bord Pleanala, the decision on the appeal case is due on March 1 next year.
Vodafone Ireland Ltd says the mast is needed to enable its existing GSM and 3g telecommunications network to continue and improve in the Carrick-on-Suir area.
Fianna Fail Cllr Kieran Bourke has voiced opposition to the Vodafone mast as the site is located close to two local secondary schools and also the site recently purchased by South Tippereary VEC for the new Comeragh College campus.
He has also criticised the management of Carrick-on-Suir Town Council for failing to organise a planning workshop for the Council’s elected members to assist them to insert a total ban on the erection of telecommunications masts in Carrick-on-Suir in the Town Development Plan.
Councillors put Council management under pressure at the local authority’s September meeting to initiate a variation of the Town Development Plan to provide for this complete ban and demanded that Council management arrange the planning workshop to draw up the correct wording for the variation.
There was unanimous support at the meeting for motion tabled by Cllr Bourke calling on the Council to change the wording of its policy on telecommunications apparatus to safeguard people living in residential areas, attending schools, chruches, creches, community buildings and other public and amenity areas in the town.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien promised at the time to relay councillors wishes to the workshop to the Council’s planners and see if they were amenable to arranging it. According to Cllr Bourke a date was arranged for the workshop but it was later cancelled.
“I am disappointed it still hasn’t been organised. The Council’s officials are going against the wishes of the elected members, who represent the people. I will be putting pressure on them again to arrange this workshop at the November meeting,” he told The Nationalist.
Carrick-on-suir town councillors had previously insered a clause in the Town Development Plan, which they believed would prevent such masts from securing planning permission in the town but the wording wasn’t strong enough and there was consternation in the town last year when Meteor Mobilee was granted permission to erect a mobile phone mast at Mill River Business Park.